Shinsengumi

May 3, 2015

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En Kioto hace mucho tiempo atrás, existían unos importantes samuráis. Se establecieron en Kioto para luchar en contra de los samuráis anti-gobierno, numerosos en los últimos años de la época de Edo. El Shinsengumi fue fundado en 1863 y abolido en 1869 cuando el shogunato Tokugawa devolvió el gobierno al Emperador.(Restauración Meji) Algunos de ellos siguieron luchando contra el nuevo gobierno japonés hasta que se rindieron completamente en la Batalla de Hakodate en Hokkaido. En la época de máximo apogeo del Shinsengumi llegó a tener 200 miembros. La mayoría de ellos no era samuráis de alto rango, pero todo aquel que tenía una buena habilidad en el manejo de la katana podía unirse, incluyendo campesinos. La cultura de Shinsengumi es muy popular en la sociedad contemporánea japonesa.

En la Era Showa, cuando la policía formó una fuerza armada especial fue llamada la Shinsengumi de Showa. Todavía ahora, hay variedad de dramas, películas,mangas y videojuegos sobre Shinsengumi. Son uno de los samuráis más populares de la historia de Japón. Ryoma Sakamoto fue uno de los más importantes y bien conocidos shishi (hombre de elevado propósito) por su movimiento político contra el shogunato Tokugawa. Antes él tenía su base en Terada-ya, un restaurante tradicional, pero como la banda de shinsengumi atacó a los shishi , Ryoma tuvo que cambiar su base  a Omi-ya. El 10 de diciembre de 1867, cuando estaba teniendo una reunión en Omi-ya, Ryoma fue  asesinado. No sabemos quién le mató, pero claramente fue por un desacuerdo político. Algunas personas sospechan que fueron los Shinsengumi quienes mataron a Sakamoto. Es un misterio que quedará sin resolver.

El antiguo restaurante Omi-ya está en san-jo Kawaramachi.

Cómo llegar a la Sede de Shinsengumi en Kioto

Desde la estación de Kioto tomar el tren de la línea Karasuma en dirección a Kokusaikaikan y bajarse en la estación de Shijo, andar hasta la estación de Hankyu-Karasuma y tomar el tren en dirección Umeda hasta Omiya, unos dos minutos entre ambas estaciones. Desde Omiya caminar unos 10 minutos en dirección suroeste. Ahí se podrá encontrar la sede. Comó llegar a Omi-ya: Desde la estación de Kioto tomar la línea Karasuma y bajarse en Karasuma-Oike, allí cambiar a la línea Tozai a Sanjo-Keihan. Fuera de la estación andar hacia el oeste cruzando la calle hasta encontrar la calle Kawaramachi. Bajar en dirección sur.

The Shinsengumi

By Junya Kitagawa and Miki Suzuki

In 1603, the Edo Period began in Japan with Ieyasu Tokugawa, who made a system called the Tokugawa government, which had a strong centralization of power.  At that time, relationships with foreign countries were thought to be dangerous.  So the government carried out a policy, which was later called National Isolation. It prevented foreigners from coming to Japan.

However, in Japan, there were a lot of rebellions throughout Japan because of this isolation policy.  Around the same time in 1852, Matthew Calbraith Perry, a Commodore of the U.S. Navy, came to Japan.  Since then, many foreigners voyaged to Japan and what is worse, many citizens from different parts of Japan made up groups and tried to defeat the Tokugawa government.

In that period, Kyoto still had been the center of politics, and there were a lot of people belonging to anti-government groups.  So this area was no safe, and only government offices which had maintained the order of Kyoto as in the past could not suppress the riot any more.  Then at that time, a special group was formed.  It was called Shinsengumi (新撰組).  Shinsengumi was a kind of special police force, consisting of only 24 samurai at first.  But, after their successes in the Ikedaya Incident and also in the Kinmon Incident, the Shinsengumi was given a letter of thanks and lots monetary support by Tokugawa government.  From that point on, they become very famous all over Japan.  In the end, many others took part in the Shinsengumi, becoming a large group consisting of more than 200 samurai.

the flag of the Shinsengumi

Shinsengumi is written as 新撰組 in Japanese characters. 新 means ‘new’, 撰 means ‘election’ and 組 means ‘group’.  So 新撰組 means “the people who are newly elected”.  The group consisted of 10 units, and its leader was Isamu Kondou, who is very famous in Japan now.  He was very good at fencing and a member of Shieikan(試衛館), which is a famous training gym for fencing.  On the Shinsengumi flag is painted the following character: 誠.  It looks almost like the character 試 in Shieikan (試衛館), doesn’t it?  Yes, that is right Kondou was a student of Shieikan and also its leader.  When he became the leader of Shinsengumi, he had to choose one character for the flag.  At that time, he wanted to paint it as 試 from 試衛館.  However he thought it was too simple.  So, he painted as 誠 instead, which looks like 試, in the flag.  This was an interesting happening indeed.

Ikedaya Inn

Events

The Ikedaya Incident was an armed encounter that took place in Kyoto, in 1864 at the Ikedaya Inn on Sanjo Street.  When the Tyoshu clan and the Tosa clan were meeting there, they were attacked by Shinsengumi.  Both clans were anti-government so they intervened in the hotel and killed people both of the clans.  Before the accident, both of the clans had decided to set fire to the Imperial Palace.  However, the Shinsengumi foiled their plot.  The Shinsengumi did a great job in stopping them from their destructive plans.

The Kinmon Incident happened in 1864, right after the incident in the Ikedaya Inn.  It also involved the Tyoshu clan.  The Shinsengumgumi also did a great job in this incident.  Having fought with Tyoshu clan, Shinsengumi defeated them and saved Kyoto.

The Boshin War, in 1868 was one of the most important civil wars in Japanese history.  In this war, the new government group and the old government group fought each other.  Of course, the Shisengumi was on the side of the old government group.  On the other hand, the new government group included the Tyoshu clan and the Satsuma clam, both of whoom had been defeated by the Shinsengumi previously.  However, this time the two clans were more powerful than before.  The Shinsengumi did their best to defeat them again, but in 1868, their sub-leader, Toshizo Hizikata, was killed.  Since then, the power of the Shinsengumi began to decline.  What was worse, the old government group lost the civil war.  The Shinsengui had been working as a police force in Kyoto since 1863, but only 5 years later, they began to disband.

Nevertheless, the Shinsengumi is still famous and popular in Japan, and a lot of Japanese know and love them.  This is because the group appears in many animes and comics in Japan, for example, Hakuouki, Rurouni-Kenshin and Gintama.  If you have a chance, please read them.

Access

For those who come to Kyoto and want to learn more about Shisengumi, you can actually visit the places written about above.

Ikedaya: From Kyoto Station, take Kyoto City Bus No.17 to Kawaramachi Sanjo.  From there it is a 3-minute walk.

Maegawa residence: From Kyoto Station, take Kyoto City Bus No.28, to Mibuderamichi.  From there it is a 2-minute walk.

Yagi residence:  This is near the Maegawa residence; only a one-minute walk.

If you visit these places, you can read about the histories of the Shinsengumi.

Those not fortunate enough to come to Kyoto, shouldn’t worry. They can learn about the Shisengumi through DVDs, movies or comics. Some of the most famous anime and comics about the Shisengumi are Rurouni-Kenshin and Hakuouki. For example, the DVD boxes of Hakuouki are sold on the Internet. They cost about $65 to buy.

As for the comics, there are a lot of comic cafes in the world, so please visit them and read the comics of Rurouni-Kenshin and Hakuouki.

Sanjo Street

by Mirai Ikei

An Introduction to Sanjo Street

Sanjo Street is located in the centre of Kyoto City and stretches from Shinomiya in Yamashina-ku to Togetsukyo Bridge in the Arashiyama area. (Some people say that it runs from Shinomiya to Saga-Tenryuji.) The distance is about 20 km. There are lively roads and an arcade with lots of people as well as historic buildings and important cultural properties. All of these sites in Sanjo Street are very attractive and people have long been fascinated by them. We will introduce our special selection from the great spots.

The History

Sanjo Street is a very historic and interesting area of Kyoto.Let’s see what happened along this street.

Honnoji (relocated)

Honnoji Temple was the place where the famous general Nobunaga Oda [1534-82] was forced to take his own life. Do you know about the major historical event which is known as the ‘Honno-ji Incident’? Honnno-ji was known as the place where one of Nobunaga’s followers, Mitsuhide Akechi, betrayed his master. Originally, the temple was at a different place from today but Hideyoshi Toyotomi [1537-98] relocated it during the rebuilding of war-devastated Kyoto.

The Ikedaya Affair (Edo to Meiji period)

The Ikedaya Affair is one of the most famous incidents that occurred at the end of the Edo period. It was a stormy epoch. On 5th June 1864 (in the old calendar), ten members of a special group, called Shinsengumi (whose leader, Isamu Kondo, worked for the Tokugawa Shogunate), battled with twenty four warriors who were against the Shogunate. It resulted in the deaths of fifteen warriors.

The site of the Ikedaya Affair is located on the west side of Sanjo Kobashi Bridge, about 30 meters west from Sanjo Ohashi. The Ikedaya has been turned into a restaurant now but still we can clearly see the sword cut on one of the handrail’s decoration of Sanjo Ohashi Bridge.

Introducing popular spots along Sanjo Street.

It is not only an historically important place but also a very lively area today. We have some recommendations.

Benkei-ishi Stone

This is a hidden popular spot. There are a few famous episodes related to this stone. One is that it was thrown from Gojo Ohashi Bridge by a monk and warrior called Benkei. Another episode is that the stone was relocated to Oshu (today’s Iwate prefecture) after Benkei’s death. However, the stone had a voice and said that it wanted to return to Sanjo in Kyoto. At the same time, there was an epidemic of fever and a number of people died in the Sanjo area. At that time, the stone was returned to its original place, Sanjo-Teramachi, and the area was named ‘Benkei-Ishimachi’ town.

Benkei-ishi Stone

 

The Museum of Kyoto  (Kyoto Bunka Hakubutsukan)

The Museum of Kyoto

These are typical western-style buildings which were built in the Meiji period in Kyoto. In particular, Sanjo Street has many of these important buildings. The Museum of Kyoto is comprised of two buildings: one is a modern style building and the other was built with red brick. The red bricks were once used in the Bank of Japan’s Kyoto Branch. Popular and unique exhibitions take place every year on various themes. People enjoy the high quality of art in this traditional retro-looking building.

Arcade

Nice arcade for bicycle riders

‘Sanjo Meiten Shotengai’ Arcade is an approximately 800-meter long arcade. It stretches from Horikawa-dori Street to Senbon-dori Street. There are a variety of shops such as sweet shops, fruit and vegetable shops, bars, restaurants and so on. There are seasonal events in the arcades; for example, a concert of Japanese traditional music in which people perform with shamisen, kokyu, and shakuhachi. It is a great experience to join one of these events.

 

 

Will you visit Sanjo Street?

We have introduced the faces of Sanjo Street, both fascinating and mysterious. All generations and all kinds of people can enjoy the street. And Sanjo Street has been an important street for people in Kyoto from past times. This is because the street has a special charm for us.

 

 

 

Die Samuraitruppe Shinsengumi

by Ayumi Nakajima

 

Die militärische Schutztruppe Shinsengumi

In Kyôto gibt es einen bekannten Tempel namens Mibudera (Mibu-Tempel). Seine Berühmtheit hängt eng mit den geschichtlichen Ereignissen um die berüchtigte Samuraitruppe Shinsengumi zusammen.

Die Shinsengumi war eine militärische Schutztruppe, die vor ungefähr 157 Jahren in Kyôto aktiv war. Sie bildete die Streitkraft des Shogunats, das in der Edo-Zeit in Japan mehr Macht besaß als der damalige Kaiser. Der Name Shinsengumi bedeutet: Neu gewählte Truppe.
Alle Mitglieder waren Männer, ungefähr 60 Leute an der Zahl, doch zeitweise umfasste die Miliz auch bis zu 300 Krieger.
Ihre Aufgabe war die Bekämpfung der Shogunatsfeinde. Zu Zeiten des Kampfes trugen sie hellblaue Kimonos. Ihre Waffen waren hauptsächlich Schwerter, Speere und Kanonen.

Die Miliz wurde im März 1863 in einem Dorf namens Mibu gebildet. Mibu befand sich damals am äußersten westlichen Stadtrand von Kyôto. Heute liegt Mibu mitten im Herzen Kyôtos, im Stadtteil Nakagyô-ku.
Im Mibu-Tempel trainierten die Samurai das Bedienen der Kanonen und andere kriegerische Künste. Sie wohnten in den Häusern der Samurai Yagi, Maekawa und Nambe. Alle drei Häuser lagen in dichter Nähe des Mibu-Tempels. Übrigens stehen die Häuser von Yagi und Maekawa noch heute dort.
Den Mibu-Tempel kann man täglich von 8:30~16:30 besichtigen. Es gibt dort die Gräber vieler Mitglieder der Truppe zu sehen (Eintritt 100 Yen) und Reiseandenken zu kaufen.
Der Mibu-Tempel

Das Haus Yagis kann man für 1000 Yen Eintritt besichtigen (täglich 9:00~17:00). Serizawa Kamo wurde 1863 hier ermordet.
Der Besuch von Maekawas Haus ist leider nicht möglich. Yamanami Keisuke beging dort 1865 Harakiri.
In der Shinsengumi gab es viele Pflichten. Und es gab viele berühmte Samurai:

Die Kommandanten

・Kondô Isami (近藤 勇)
・Serizawa Kamo (芹沢 鴨)

Der Vizekommandanten

・Hijikata Toshizô (土方 歳三)
・Yamanami Keisuke (山南 敬助)
・Niimi Nishiki (新見 錦)

Der Berater

Itô Kashitarô (伊東 甲子太郎)

Die Truppenkapitäne

  1.  Okita Sôji (沖田 総司)
  2.  Nagakura Shinpachi (永倉 新八)
  3.  Saitô Hajime (斎藤 一)
  4.  Matsubara Chûji (松原 忠司)
  5.  Takeda Kanryûsai (武田 観柳斎)
  6.  Inoue Genzaburô (井上 源三郎)
  7. Tani Sanjûrô (谷 三十郎)
  8.  Tôdô Heisuke (藤堂 平助)
  9.  Suzuki Mikisaburô (鈴木 三樹三郎)
  10.  Harada Sanosuke (原田 左之助)

Stätten der Erinnerung an die Shinsengumi

Auch heute noch gibt es in Kyôto viele Orte, die an die tapferen Kämpfer erinnern. Am Kôenji-Tempel (光縁寺) findet man die Gräber vieler Mitglieder der Truppe. Der Kôdaiji-Tempel (高台寺) diente einer Splittergruppe der Shinsengumi als Unterkunft. 15 Männer um Itô Kashitarô hatten sich einige Jahre nach der Gründung von der Truppe zurückgezogen und die Gruppe Kôdaijitô (高台寺党)“ gebildet. Am Honkôji-Tempel (本光寺) kann man die Stelle besichtigen, an der Itô Kashitarô ermordet wurde. Der Nishihonganji-Tempel (西本願寺) diente der Truppe vorübergehend als Unterkunft. An dem Shintoschrein Kyôto-ryôzengokoku-jinja (京都霊山護国神社) liegen die Gräber der Kriegsgefallenen des „Ikedaya-Zwischenfalls“ (池田屋事変), der als entscheidender Kampf der Shogunatsmiliz gegen die kaisertreuen Patrioten in die Geschichte eingegangen ist. Trotz der Übermacht der Feinde gelang es der Samuraitruppe zu gewinnen. Das Nijô-Schloss (二条城) wurde von der Shinsengumi bewacht. Im Ryôzen Museum (霊山歴史館) sind einige Dokumente über die Truppe ausgestellt.
Jugendlichen gesehen werden.
Der Kôenji-Tempel (光縁寺)
Der Kôdaiji-Tempel (高台寺)
Der Nishihonganji-Tempel (西本願寺)
Der Shintoschrein Kyôto-ryôzengokoku-jinja (京都霊山護国神社)
„Ikedaya-Zwischenfall“ (池田屋事変)
Das Nijô-Schloss (二条城)
Das Ryôzen Museum (霊山歴史館)

Durch zahlreiche Romane, Fernsehserien, Filme, Comics und Animesendungen, die sich mit der Shinsengumi beschäftigen, erfreut sich die Samuraitruppe bei den japanischen Jugendlichen beachtlicher Popularität. Das ist nicht erstaunlich in Japan, wo es traditionell zahlreiche historische Fernsehserien gibt, die viel von

Anfahrt zum Mibu-Tempel
Bus Linien 26 oder 28 bis „Mibuderamichi壬生寺道“
Hankyû Linie bis „Ômiya-eki(大宮駅)“

Shinsengumi

by Ay Kagami; Horibe Yuki

 

No final do século XIX, época de transição da sociedade feudal para a moderna, um grupo de samurais desempregados em Edo (antigo nome de Tokyo) foi escalado para manter a ordem e a segurança na cidade de Kyoto. Esse grupo defendia o sistema político vigente, ou seja, o Shogun (guerreiro chefe) como líder político do País, e por ele lutaram. Foi chamado de Shinsen-Gumi e, devido aos seus feitos e à sua coragem, seus membros tornaram-se personagens históricos lendários. Aqui, apresentaremos os principais pontos de Kyoto que estão ligados à trajetória desses guerreiros.

Mibu-Tonsyo

Mibu é o nome de uma cidade do Distrito de Kyoto onde os membros do Shinsen-Gumi ocuparam duas casas particulares pertencentes cada uma delas às famílias Yagi e Maekawa.

A casa de Yagi

Templo de Mibu (Mibu-Dera)

Este templo, que ficava ao lado da casa dos Yagi, era usado como local de treinamento pelos membros do grupo. Também era aí que eles assistiam às peças de Kyogen, comédias do teatro tradicional, e às lutas de sumô.
Templo de Mibu

Templo de Shintokuzen (Shintokuzen-ji)

Diz-se que foi este o lugar onde nasceu o Shinsen-Gumi, pois foi aí que os samurais recém-chegados a Kyoto reuniram-se com aquele que deveria ser o seu e dele ouviram a revelação de que apoiava o imperador e planejava assassinar o Shogun, governante no Japão feudal.

Templo de Shintokuzen

Templo de Nishihongan (Nishihongan-ji)

Em 1865, o grupo que já contava muitos membros, mudou-se para uma base maior, o Templo Nishihongan. Os guerreiros passaram então a fazer o seu treinamento neste templo, mas seus gritos incomodavam os visitantes que foram se tornando cada vez mais raros. Assim, foram obrigados a se transferir para o templo chamado Fudoudousan-ji.
Templo de Nishihongan

O fim do Shinsen-Gumi e o começo da lenda

Os anos vividos pelo Shinsen-Gumi correspondem ao final da Era Edo e ao começo da Era Meiji, época em que o Japão dava seus primeiros passos rumo à modernização. Em meio às tranformações políticas e sociais por que passava o País, o Shinsen-Gumi continuou a apoiar o chefe militar dos samurais, o Shogun. Tornaram-se assim inimigos da corrente majoritária que queria restaurar o poder do imperador e sonhava em modernizar o Japão.
O líder do grupo, Isami Kondo, morreu decapitado em Edo, lutando por sua causa. Alguns dos sobreviventes chegaram a participar do novo governo após a Revolução de Meiji, e outros foram viver no interior do País.
No Japão onde nasceu e atuou, às vésperas da modernização, o Shinsen Gumi tinha poucos simpatizantes. Eram considerados rudes e provincianos, com um estilo de luta deselegante. Mas, para aqueles que sonhavam em perpetuar o shogunato, eram heróis. Foi esta imagem heróica que prevaleceu na História. Hoje, os samurais do Shinsen-Gumi são umas das figuras históricas mais populares do Japão.

A bandeira de Shinsen-Gumi